Age puts life into perspective. When young I observed the world through rose-tinted glasses and was inspired by idealistic songs like ‘Blowing In The Wind’ or ‘Universal Soldier’.
However, wistful hopes of changing the status quo floundered as working realities got in the way.
I was also a ‘townie’, eager to see the world and its leading cities. I even campaigned to join the ‘Common Market’ for peaceful, profitable unity among nations. Now I wear prescription glasses and see my neighbourhood clearly, while avoiding town centres and travel. Entering my 70th year, I’m aware of the frailties of mankind, doubt political promises and mistrust all grand solutions.
The truth is, we think mostly of ourselves and care about what’s closest to us.
Now knowing foreign ways, I’m stirred here by that good-natured patriotism which fills stadiums for the Six Nations rugby tournament, with anthems like ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’ or ‘Jerusalem’ lifting our spirits.
I was struck, too, by a couple of other televised events: watching ex-politico Michael Portillo being welcomed across booming Canada; then, here at home, hearing English farmers and industrialists bravely welcoming independence and wider opportunities when we quit a now fractious Europe.
Whatever your view on so-called Brexit, it seems Commonwealth blood has proved thicker than European water - we even have a common language! Also, our politicians while espousing efficiency and profit have, in reality, been asset stripping the UK by auctioning off our industry and utilities.
In local terms on the Fylde, manufacturers and entrepreneurs receive only token support and we have witnessed the sale of our finest agricultural land, at Marton Moss, for new housing dictated by distant policy-makers.
As an oldie, it seems clear to me this isn’t joined-up thinking if we are ultimately to feed, clothe and look after ourselves.
Like the England rugby team, it’s time to proudly flex our muscles!
● For Roy’s books visit royedmonds-blackpool.com.